7 observations from a review of performance measurement research

What drives the use of performance measurement (PM) systems in the public sector? And what are the effects of PM use? In a recent study in Financial Accountability & Management (Van der Kolk, 2022, open access), I address these questions. In this blog, I highlight seven observations from the review.

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Terugkijken: De Meetmaatschappij #3 LIVE @ Pakhuis De Zwijger (Overheid, algoritmes, data)

Op 1 december 2022 vond de derde en laatste aflevering van de serie De Meetmaatschappij plaats in Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam. Het thema dat deze avond behandeld werd was “Verantwoord datagebruik door de overheid”. Thema’s als algortimes, vooroordelen, autonomie en ethiek werden besproken door een panel van zowel data experts als wetenschappers.

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Publication: A review of performance measurement research

Recently, my paper “Performance measurement in the public sector: Mapping 20 years of survey research” was published in Financial Accountability and Management, a scientific journal dedicated to study management practices in governments, charities and public services.

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Control combinations, organizational values and tensions

What are the combined effects of different management tools on individuals in an organization? This week, our study addressing this question was published in the academic journal Management Accounting Research. Continue reading

Note on motivating civil servants


The journal Public Money & Management (PMM) has both an academic and a practitioner readership, and called for contributions to a special issue about developing civil servants. A brief note on motivating civil servants that I submitted was published online this week.

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Study on motivation and management published


Together with Paula van Veen-Dirks and Henk ter Bogt, I published this week a paper in the European Accounting Review. In the paper we study the relation between management control, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and performance. We use survey data from 105 departments from Dutch municipalities to test our hypotheses.

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Can performance metrics harm performance?


(This article was also published on IE Business School’s corporate relations page IE Insights.)

Can performance measurement systems negatively impact performance? A recent study (“Performance measurement, cognitive dissonance and coping strategies: exploring individual responses to NPM-inspired output control”) suggests this, finding that employee behavior can change when performance is being measured. When subjected to such scrutiny, professionals sometimes rather focus on easily measurable tasks, while avoiding activities that are not measured or do that do not yield results in the short term. And that may harm the (long-term) performance of professionals and organizations.

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